The best tips to minimise cracks on concrete driveways are dampening the base, ensuring formworks are straight and secure, providing sufficient reinforcement, and preparing a stable base.
Adhering to these guidelines increases the likelihood that your new driveway will last for many years.
However, it’s important to remember that cracks can still occur due to extreme temperature changes or sustained heavy loads. Fortunately, there are expert concreters in Frankston who can assist you in repairing your concrete surfaces or replacing them entirely if necessary.
In this post, we’ll provide you with the top tips to maximise the longevity of your new concrete driveway.
Tip #1: Dampen the Base
Your base material won’t settle properly if it’s excessively dry. Therefore, if you’re compacting in dry conditions, you can increase the moisture by applying water to the base, enabling it to compact more effectively. To determine if the base material is sufficiently moist, compact a handful into a ball in your hand. The base is considered to be damp if it retains its shape.
Tip #2: Ensure Formworks Are Straight
Insert two screws at the end of each form board and stretch a string between them. This line will act as a guide to determine whether the boards are straight. Ensure that the forms are positioned at the correct height before adding the final layer. This will allow you to use the forms as a reference when finalizing the height of your base material.
Tip #3: Provide Sufficient Reinforcement
Providing sufficient reinforcement to steel or mesh guarantees that loads will be evenly distributed throughout the slab. This reduces the impact of concentrated stress and lowers the risk of cracking. Additional reinforcement is particularly important for larger driveways.
Tip #4: Prepare a Stable Base
Concrete durability depends on a sound foundation. It’s recommended to have a compactable base of 4 to 6 inches for stability, with the exact thickness varying based on the local climate, soil conditions, and regular traffic the driveway will endure.
Tip #5: Keep Forms Secure
Ensure that you put a stake approximately every metre. You should align the form board with the string line using your foot every time you insert a stake. The key here is to drive the stakes directly down with the board so they don’t become misaligned as you secure them.
Tip #6: Apply a Plate Compactor
Once the base for your concrete driveway has been laid, use a plate compactor to consolidate it. After every 2-inch layer, make 3-4 passes with the machine. Vibrating plate compactors are often preferred for soil compaction.By adhering to these tips, you will clearly understand the correct method on how to construct a concrete driveway.